#AtoZAprilChallenge: Tradition

Patrick Bailly-Maître-Grand This common word has many meanings: Williams writes that it derived from Latin: tradere – to hand over or deliver. “It is easy to see how a general word for matters handed down from father to son could become specialised, within one form of thought, to the idea of necessary respect and duty… Tradition survives in English as a description of a general process of handing down, but there is a very strong and often predominant sense of this entailing respect and duty.”

How long does it take to make anything traditional? Two generations? But some traditions are age-old, and a matter of ceremony, duty and respect: religious traditions for example. Yet “tradition and especially traditional are now often used dismissively… Indeed traditionalism seems to be becoming specialised to a description of habits and beliefs inconvenient to virtually any innovation.”

Do you consider yourself a traditionalist?

Photo: Patrick Bailly-Maître-Grand

After the First Draft #amediting, or am I (re) #writing?

Road to the Mind The struggle to complete the mythical first draft opens the gate to another level of enjoyment: in this case I am waiting for the work undertaken by my editor – bless her keyboard – to be completed before switching seriously into 2nd draft gear. I have already done some work on the basis of her observations and corrections so far: I expect a rewrite may be on the cards. Am I afraid? Not at all, this is training. One day it will bear fruit… or not. Who knows?

The adventure started some two years ago, often stalled and restarted, must continue. Distractions, travel, friends, family, books! – all reasons why progress is slow. One interesting observation is the number of blind alleys marks left all over the place: locations of no import, even characters of total irrelevance popping out here and then. My editor must think me nuts! And of course, as any writer in training, I am!

So what is the real next step? The novel is in three parts, and this was only part 1.  A rewrite of part 1 has real advantages, for example to reset the plot on a firmer foundation, after eliminating the “red herrings”. This should lead to better writing in parts 2 and 3, shouldn’t it? Well… The trouble is that the whole enterprise would be pushed back for at least a year; and there lies the risk of losing momentum.

There is another snag: new ideas are popping up, for another book! Discipline, discipline. We have to focus, and not lose sight of the goal: writing a good first novel!

Image: “Road to the mind”, by Leppakaklifoth

 

Daily Prompt: Elevator

You’re stuck in an elevator with an intriguing stranger. Write this scene.

 

Contract I am always embarrassed when I am confined in a small space, and never more than when this space is shared with a lady I don’t know. It’s my size, you see, I can’t shrink and I am a big man, not fat mind you, but just huge, tall and square…

So that day as the lift stopped, the doors opened and she walked in, all glamour and wonderful scent, I tried to smile and make myself as inconspicuous as I could, and I felt her smile all over my frame, top down. She asked me to press the key to the 21st floor. Which I did.

The lift stops at my floor, no 14. I smiled again and as I was stepping out she said: “Why don’t you follow me to my floor?” Taken aback I replied politely: “How may I help you Madame?” – “Oh, nothing you should worry about”, she said with a wolfish grin, “let me introduce myself: Laura King, literary agent… I am pleased to meet you Mr Dupuis.” I thought of the badge on my lapel. We shook hands as the lift restarted its climb.

So I met my agent. The rest is my little story.

The End of the Challenge #AtoZChallenge #WritersWednesdays

The End of the Challenge

O There is always an anticlimax at the end, like finishing the first reading of a beloved book.  But, somehow, one of the posts has given me an idea.  Doing research for the Challenge leads sometime to old friends, or friends one did not expect to have.  Thus I have met Régine Deforges, a celebrated writer and hell raiser in her own time.  From Régine I have promised myself to read several books, and more about those in due time.  For now I have picked up a new project: translating and commenting on Régine’s “O m’a dit” (© Société Nouvelle des Editions Jean-Jacques Pauvert, 1975, Nouvelle Edition, Pauvert, 1995), her 1975 interview – sorry – “entretiens” with Pauline Réage, author of Histoire d’O.  In fact there is yet another idea beyond this, but for the latter, my readers may have to look elsewhere in these pages.

I think a translation of “O m’a dit” in English already exists (if so I have not read it), but I relish the idea of doing something my own way, with my own bias.  “O m’a dit” is a fascinating piece of journalism and critique, one of only two interviews Pauline gave in her lifetime.  When, in 1975, Pauline and Régine met they were already friends, and they talked about O, of course, but also about many subjects they were keen to discuss: in those lines one can read the weight of their own success – published and successful author of one world-famous book for Pauline, Régine of many to come – as well of their phantasms.  Well, enough for now, and more later.  What I am planning to do is to translate (I think the whole text: 170 pages) and post in small chunks with comments, hopefully of interest to you, reader, and I’d probably do that every Wednesday or so under the tag #WritersWednesday!

So, what about the Challenge?  Well, it is now over for 2013, and I published the last post yesterday!  It has been most enjoyable, and I found it easier than last year, which was my first year of participation.

 

From the very roots…

Adventures In American Writing

The Frontiers of the boundless future,

” I am writing a manifesto and I want nothing, yet I say certain things, and I am against manifestoes as a matter of principles, as I am also against principles…

I write this manifesto to show that one may perform opposed actions together, in a single fresh respiration.

I am against action and for continual contradiction, for affirmation also, I am neither for nor against and I do not explain for I hate good sense….

There is a literature which does not reach the voracious mass. The work of creators, sprung from a real necessity on the part of the author, and for himself. Consciousness of a supreme egotism where the stars waste away…

Each page must explode, either with the profoundly serious and heavy, the whirlwind, the dizziness, the new, the eternal, with the overwhelming hoax, with an enthusiasm for principles or with…

View original post 101 more words

#BlogMeMaybe: May 7 – May I tell you something about writing?

On Writing “On Writing” by Stephen King is the book that got me started, and keeps me going. When I first read Stephen’s account of his beginnings, and how he, somehow, overcame the odds stacked against him, I knew I would have to try. And of course I’m still trying, and this is the lesson.

This is pure genius:

“One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary, looking for long words because you’re maybe a little bit ashamed of your short ones. This is like dressing up a household pet in evening clothes.”

And the sublime: “I thought long and hard about whether or not to include a detailed section on grammar in this little book.”

“On writing” is about becoming a writer, by the master of the craft, still with us. Long live the King.

Thank you so much, and so impressed by the company… Have to work harder now!

Raising the Curtain

A sense of humour is a beautiful thing. A sense of humour with a touch of irony is not only a beautiful thing but a match made in heaven. Give me a sense of humour, with a touch of irony sautéed in creative word play butter and I’m in orbit.

So having just landed back to earth and having waited for Ryan Seacrest to get his crispy clean tux back from the dry-cleaners after that OTHER award show, I am now in a position to pay the ABC Blogging Award forward. Some time back in April, Wendy from Finally…Wendy Wonders presented me with the ABC Blogging Award for Awesome Blogging Content. Not only did Wendy present me with the award, but she did so whilst I was partway through the A to Z Blogging Challenge and with a requirement that I have to make an alphabetical list of 26 things about myself (still…

View original post 351 more words